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Looking to find something new, unique, quirky or fun for an upcoming story? We are here to help! To start below is an overview of what’s new in the Stevens Point Area.
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What’s New for 2021
New Construction/Capital Projects
Sentry Curling Center for the Stevens Point Curling Club – The construction has been completed on the newest state-of-the-art curling facility in Wisconsin, which includes four sheets of ice for play. 2021 will be the first full year of use which was constructed in Plover.
Lake Pacawa Project - This iconic park located in Plover, continues to serve as a hub for the community. With the completion of the bandshell, development continues to transform the park. Phase 2 improvements focus on improving accessibility, with universally accessible playground and ADA beach improvements, along with a pavilion (with concessions and restrooms), kid-friendly splash pad, and walking trails - the new park is poised to be a popular local spot.
Green Circle Trail Trailhead Facility – The Green Circle Trailhead project will see its first year of use in 2021, with construction scheduled to be completed later this year. The trailhead will serve as a public gateway to the popular 27-mile Green Circle Trail. An estimated 125,000 people use the trail annually. The trailhead will feature a 50-person open-air shelter constructed of stone and timber, a fully insulated year-round restroom facility, and an overflow parking lot. The shelter will be dedicated in honor of Roy Menzel, one of the founders of the Green Circle.
SentryWorld to add new Boutique Hotel Property – The new development is scheduled to open in 2021. The facility will be constructed near the golf course and adjoining facility, which recently hosted the USGA Junior Girls’ Championship. More details here.
Central City Market – This cooperative of local makers in central Wisconsin is reimagining an 1800’s era historical building as a space for local food businesses to collaborate. Once used by Altenburg Dairy, the reimagined space will provide a unique shopping, dining, and entertainment experience to the region – showcasing local food and products. The space plans to include a bakery, ice cream parlor, and test kitchen, in addition to market space (including Northern Oasis Spirits, Upstream Cider, Siren Shrub, Tapped Maple Syrup, Altenburg Dairy, Main Grain Bakery, and the Stevens Point Area Co-op).
Fox Theater Development – After sitting vacant for more than 30 years, the Fox Theater will have a new life. Originally commissioned in 1893 by G. F. Andrae, the new space will include ‘Andrae’s Biergarten’ as well as interior event space. View a 3D rendering envisioning the new space.
Cultural Commons – This community space located in Pfiffner Pioneer Park along the Wisconsin River in Stevens Point seeks to join the cultural influences of the community. Cultural Commons has completed the first phase of its plan. From the influence of the Native Americans who first settled here to the sister cities, including native plantings and sculpture. More details here and here. Photos and details about the layout can be found in the Interpretive Walking Tour album.
Suzuki Institute celebrates 50 years – The American Suzuki Institute, the first established Suzuki Institute outside of Japan on the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point campus was planning to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been postponed to 2021. The event regularly brings students and their families from all over the world. In 2019, they welcomed guests from 36 states and 6 countries.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) celebrates 30 years – This successful program, founded by Dr. Christine Thomas at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 1991, has become popular in more than 40 states and several Canadian provinces. Today, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman continues to inspire and educate women through hands-on workshops and events.
More reasons to visit the Stevens Point Area
Here are spots to explore, away from crowds in central Wisconsin.
- Get away from the crowd, with a beautiful view at the top 10 secluded spots in the Stevens Point Area.
- Social-distance by bike, with a stop at Central Waters, a barrel-aging giant in the Stevens Point Area. Get tips for the trip, in our ride guide.
- Stake out your perfect piece of shoreline – and a great getaway – with these waterfront rentals in the Stevens Point Area.
- Hidden Beaches are the perfect spot for summer fun – and on the Wisconsin River flowage in the Stevens Point Area, there are plenty of sandbars to enjoy. Learn more about Maple Island Beach, one of the most popular hidden beaches, in our guide to hidden beaches.
- Need a classic Wisconsin Fish Fry? Check out the best spots in the Stevens Point Area, for a fish fry to-go – and then head out to your favorite picnic spot.
- Up your craft cocktail game, from wherever you are! Get inspiration from these central Wisconsin makers as part of #CocktailsInPlace – with expert tips!
- Traveling with the family and looking for places to explore? Check out the Kid’s Guide to the Green Circle Trail with recommendations by trail segment.
- Move over Geocaching – the painted rock movement is here. Learn more about local artists creating these magical moments (perfect for socially distanced fun for the whole family) here.
Wellness Travel - trips planned around outdoor recreation including urban recreation, unplugging, healthy foods locally sourced
- Start your day exploring local art – from the massive 150 feet wide ‘E Pluribus Unum’ mural or the giant ‘Sand County Bench’. Then, pick up a picnic lunch from the Stevens Point Area Co-op or some Vegan comfort food from Wicked Willow, before venturing out on the Green Circle Trail. Those interested in locally sourced food can find details in the Farm Fresh Atlas, produced by the Central Rivers Farmshed. Get your farm-to-table fix at Adelante, a local food marketplace that is part coffee roastery and part community gathering space through Liberation Farmers. For more local finds, head straight to the source for brunch on the farm at Lonely Oak Farms, during the growing season. Learn more about the local makers in the Stevens Point Area – then go and meet them yourself.
Millennial Travel - focusing on sustainable travel experiences, Insta-worthy stops and personal fulfillment
- For a way to experience rural America in a sustainable way, you’ll want to check out the Tomorrow River Homestead. Not a traditional vacation rental, the homestead offers a different take on lodging providing a place for artists and travelers. This property has had several former lives, from a rest home to a biker hangout. But, most recently, it has been reimagined to host artist residencies and studio space in addition to 5 bedrooms and on-site camping - the perfect unique rental for family gatherings. The home is set on a 4.5-acre lot in the center of Nelsonville, where the Tomorrow River (a class A trout stream) winds, and it’s within walking distance to the nationally known Ruby Coffee Roasters.
- Looking for a unique way to be a part of the winemaking experience? Go behind the scenes at Rock Ridge Vineyard - and help harvest grapes in the early fall - for this one-of-a-kind experience in the Stevens Point Area. This free agritourism experience puts you in the fields where wine begins its journey at Rock Ridge Vineyard. Typically harvest begins in late August through September, but it depends on a number of factors.
- For sustainable travel experiences, you can’t skip the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair – the nation’s longest-running event of its kind. Although you can visit their headquarters for workshops and tours throughout the year. The MREA is planning to host the 31st Annual Energy Fair, June 25-27, 2021.
- For Insta-Worthy spots in the Stevens Point Area, check out our lists including the top 10 insta-worthy spots, along with restaurants and sunsets.
Inclusive and Accessible – itinerary ideas for multicultural, LGBTQ+ and accessible travel
- Must-see events include; state’s largest free cultural festival (Portage County Cultural Festival), central Wisconsin’s largest Jazz Festival (Riverfront Jazz Festival), one of the Midwest’s first art shows of the year (Festival of the Arts), a chance to view working local artist studios (Hidden Studios Art Tour), a comic-con meets canoeing adventure (Paddlequest), AIRO Pow-wow and the Festival of India, and Bluegrass in the Pines.
- Popular local flavor must-do’s include; Eggs Benedict crepes and single-origin coffee at Ruby, grab a locally made item from Agora Local Makers Market, enjoy brunch on the farm (May-October) at Lonely Oak Farms, eat your way around the state’s oldest farmers market in downtown Stevens Point (held 6 days a week during the growing season, and shifts indoors for the winter from November-April), fresh-made smoked gouda pretzels from Main Grain Bakery to bring along as a snack to Central Waters Brewing Company for a barrel-aged beer – or a hand-crafted cocktail at the mixology bar at Great Northern Distilling, as part of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective (a partnership of all of the craft beer, wine and spirits makers in the region).
Business/Leisure Blur – tack on an extra day to explore or turn it into a family vacation
- After the meeting hit the trails or paddle from the Plover River to the backwaters of the Wisconsin River before exploring the local flavors of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective.
- For families, some of the more popular attractions include the Stevens Point Sculpture Park, KASH Playground (a universally accessible playground), Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, and Putt N Play (which features indoor mini-golf, outdoor laser tag, and RC track). Families can also participate in CREATE portage county’s geocaching art adventure known as SculptureQuest.